The Question to Ask Yourself Every Time You Start a Project
A two-step system to end everything you do on the right note.
Beginnings are sexy and fun and easy to get excited about.
But whenever we start new projects, we should also be asking ourselves the question:
“How will this end?”
There are two steps to the process.
Step 1: Schedule a checkup
In her book, The Art of Gathering, event organizer and facilitator Priya Parker notes that “too many of our gatherings don’t end. They simply stop.”
We’ve all been there.
Things peter out.
A no-longer-useful weekly meeting clings to the calendar, with people scheduling over it, hoping the convener will eventually put it out of its misery.
To counter this, set a scheduled checkup date, at which point the purpose of the event/meeting/project can be reassessed.
If you’re starting a book club for the first Wednesday of each month, you might schedule the first six months: dates, hosts, agenda format, and book choices.
Then, after six months, you decide as a group whether to keep going. If so, schedule the next six months.
If not, then the last gathering can be a celebration that you had a good six-month run.
You’ll think of this last meeting as you might a graduation ceremony, rather than as a failure.
Step 2: If you’re done, end things mindfully
We might not even know when we’re doing something for the last time.
We rarely recognize the last time when we’re in it.
When you can shape the experience, you might as well.
Chose a meaningful final date and produce the last episode, the last meeting, the last book club. Sum up what you’ve learned.
That way, it will feel more like the end of a series, rather than something chucked unceremoniously aside because you got too busy or ran out of steam.
You’ll feel better about it.
And since all things do end, the more endings we can feel good about, the better our lives will be.